Walmart announced Thursday that it will raise its hourly starting wage, give bonuses to eligible employees, expand maternity leave and provide adoption aid – thanks to the passage of President Donald Trump’s tax reform plan.
The combined wage and benefit changes will benefit its more than one million U.S. hourly associates at Walmart, Sam’s Club and other related enterprises, the company says.
Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon credits Trump’s tax reform for the company’s increased generosity, explaining that the new tax law benefits Walmart’s employees and customers, as well as its stockholders:
“We are early in the stages of assessing the opportunities tax reform creates for us to invest in our customers and associates and to further strengthen our business, all of which should benefit our shareholders.
“However, some guiding themes are clear and consistent with how we’ve been investing -- lower prices for customers, better wages and training for associates and investments in the future of our company, including in technology.
“Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S.”
Walmart reports that “Associates in the U.S. will share in tax savings through”:
- A one-time bonus benefiting all eligible full and part-time hourly associates in the U.S. The amount of the bonus will be based on length of service, with associates with at least 20 years qualifying for $1,000.
- An increase in Walmart’s starting wage rate to $11 an hour, effective in the Feb. 17, 2018, pay cycle. The change is in addition to wage increases already planned for many U.S. markets in the coming fiscal year.
- An expanded parental and maternity leave policy, providing full-time hourly associates in the U.S. with 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave. Salaried associates will also receive six weeks of paid parental leave.
- Walmart will provide financial assistance of $5,000 per child to both hourly and salaried employees.
The wage increase, totaling about $300 million next fiscal year, will become effective in February, while the one-time bonus will cost the company approximately $400 million in its fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2018.